It took me awhile but here is the post on auditions that I promised!
Before holding auditions, I have already previewed the musical and begun teaching anything that may be part of the audition (i.e. solos). I also make sure that every child gets a copy of the Script and the Audition Information Packet with Permission Slip. This was something that my supervising teacher introduced to me during my internship. I continued this in my own program because it really keeps everyone on the same page. Below is a sample of what the packet looks like:
Page 1 - Contains all information for the parents.
Page 2 - Describes each characters role in the musical.
Page 3 - Permission Slip to be signed by a Parent/Guardian.
Auditions are held one day after school a little over a month before the performance. Any student interested in auditioning meets in the music room and is required to stay for the entire audition process. This makes many of my kids nervous but I explain that if they can't do it in front of people they know well from chorus, they're probably going to have a more difficult getting up on stage. It is also for me to get a more realistic idea of their strengths/comfort levels.
When we audition, I only allow them to audition for the 2 main characters. This makes the audition process sooooooooo much easier (that may have been an excessive amount of o's)! Instead of breaking the auditions down into multiple sub groups, I can audition kids for the roles 2 at a time because I pick characters who have dialogue together. If your kids are like mine, you usually have a lot of auditions to go through and this speeds the process up so much.
Before starting auditions, I have the kids quickly jot down their top 3 choices and any character they would not like to be. This way, I can best place kids by how they auditioned and by what they would like to be. It's still a balancing act but it seems to be a pretty fair way to place the kids in roles.
During auditions I sit at the back of the room behind the green and blue risers. (Check out my classroom set up.) All the kids must sit on the bottom of the risers facing forward because I take notes while the kids audition. I rate each child based on preparation, voice projection, stage presence/character personality, and attitude/chorus participation. I keep track of everything using this form.
Audition Rating Sheet
(This has been added to the Freebie Section of my blog.)
After auditions are over, I do my best to place kids in roles by how the auditions went and what their preference was. I create a list of who has been assigned to each character and post it in the window of my door. In addition to that, I create a congratulatory letter for each child to take home and share with their parents. This is a great way to inform parents and give them a list of upcoming rehearsals.